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Inshah Malik: Muslim Women, Agency, and the Politics of Resistance in Kashmir

June 2, 2020

On Thursday, May 21, the South Asia Center welcomed Professor Inshah Malik (Kardan University, Kabul) for a virtual colloquium event. Logging in at 7:30 AM in her time zone, Professor Malik delivered a lecture on “Muslim Women, Agency, and Politics of Resistance in Kashmir: Dissecting Media Narratives and Portrayals,”  in which she analyzed the use of women’s images in representations of Kashmir. Sharing examples from Indian mainstream media sources, Malik emphasized how women are routinely portrayed as victims or vilified as terrorists, which serves to justify the Indian state’s use of violence in the region. Through both tropes, women’s agency and resistance is erased despite the dynamic and multifaceted engagement of Kashmiri Muslim women in political struggles for justice and self-determination. Malik then turned to the work of Masrat Zahra, a young Kashmiri journalist jailed for her reportage. The discussion was followed by a lively Q&A, with scholars, students, and faculty joining from across the country.